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FAQs About Concussions


What is a Concussion? 

One of the most common forms of traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a concussion, which is caused by a sudden blow, bump, or jolt to the head, or a penetrating injury to the head. Depending on the severity, a concussion temporarily or permanently affects brain function. 

What are the Common Causes of a Concussion? 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), research shows that most people sustain concussions and TBIs from the following events: 

  • Motor vehicle crashes (e.g., car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, etc.) 

  • Falls (especially among children and older adults) 

  • Being struck by an object 

  • Assault or other forms of violence 

  • Playing a contact sport or lack of proper safety gear/supervision for contact sports 

  • Military service 

  • Firearm-related suicide 

What are the Common Symptoms of a Concussion? 

Concussion symptoms include physical, cognitive, emotional, and other bodily changes. In general, these symptoms reflect a functional disturbance to the brain. 

While some symptoms last a few seconds, others may linger for days, weeks, or even months. Signs may not even appear for days or weeks following the injury. 

Common signs of a concussion include: 

  • Headaches 

  • Nausea or vomiting 

  • Dizziness or balance issues 

  • Blurry or double vision 

  • Drowsiness 

  • Sluggishness 

  • Clumsiness 

  • Ringing in ears 

  • Slurred speech 

  • Feeling dazed 

  • Confusion or forgetfulness 

  • Feeling mentally “foggy” 

  • Sensitivity to light and noise 

  • Difficulties focusing 

  • Slowed responses to questions 

  • Sleeping issues 

  • Trouble remembering 

  • Irritability or other mood, behavior, or personality changes 

  • Loss of taste or smell 

  • Loss of consciousness 

How Serious are Concussions? 

After the death of a high school athlete in 1991, the Colorado Medical Society published guidelines that divides concussions into three grades – with Grade 1 being the least serious and Grade 3 being the most serious and requires immediate medical attention. The guidelines created by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) in 1997 are based on those by the Colorado Medical Society. 

The following are the descriptions of each grade of concussions: 

  • Grade 1 concussions – This type of concussion is generally mild. Symptoms last less than 15 minutes and the victim does not lose consciousness. 

  • Grade 2 concussions – Symptoms are moderate, lasting longer than 15 minutes without any loss of consciousness. 

  • Grade 3 concussions – Symptoms are severe, and a loss of consciousness does occur. 

AAN says that Grade II or Grade III concussions requires immediate medical attention because they can result in permanent brain injury, which requires ongoing care to help with recovery. 

How Can I Avoid a Concussion? 

While a concussion is difficult to prevent because they can happen unexpectedly, the following are several precautions you can take to reduce the possibility of a TBI: 

  • Wear protective equipment when participating in high-contact and high-risk sports, such as football, boxing, hockey, rugby, cycling, skateboarding, rollerblading, snowboarding, and horseback riding. Such equipment includes helmets, padding, mouth and eye guards, as well as Q-Collar, which is a C-shaped collar-like device to help reduce movement in the brain. 

  • Do not get into any fights or physical altercations. Men report more TBIs from fighting compared to women. 

  • Drive in a safe manner by wearing a seatbelt, following the traffic laws, and not being under the influence of alcohol or drugs while on the road. 

  • Clear any clutter from the floor and hallways of your home to reduce any trip-and-fall hazards. Also block stairways and install window guards to protect minor children. 

  • Exercise regularly to keep your leg muscles strong for better balance to help you avoid falls. 

If you have suffered a concussion or TBI caused by a negligent party in Anchorage, AK, call The Law Offices of David Henderson at (888) 295-6566 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation.